Invest in Women,' Accelerate progress virtual art exhibition ongoing in Accra

Invest in Women,' Accelerate progress art exhibition in Accra by wAi Africa
Artworks exhibited in the virtual gallery, Women’s Arts Museum Ghana 

When the theme for 2024 International Women's Day was published, it arrived at an auspicious time because women needed to mobilize resources to reset from the challenges of covid-19 traumas which have heavily impacted lives globally, and particularly women and small households in Ghana and countries across Africa. 

Therefore, to commemorate International Women’s Day the Women’s Arts Institute Africa commissioned a multi-skilled visual art exhibition. The works for the exhibition were created at a workshop with the theme, “Invest in Women, Accelerate Progress", in partnership with the World Bank in Ghana. 

Interestingly, the theme of the exhibition was also an individual call to artists to speak about their own proposals for the investment of women in the artists’ own communities. 

The Institute worked with 25 sculptors, photographers, poets, and painters from multigenerational and multi-diverse backgrounds. The artists responded to the call for participation and were introduced to a series of communication and discussions about how to formulate their works in ways that could be completed for exhibition the next day. 

The artists received three major text communications, phone calls, individual email discussions and telephone communications. Each artist highlighted their unique needs and challenges to which diverse solutions were reached.

Invest in Women,' Accelerate progress art exhibition in Accra
Artworks exhibited in the virtual gallery, Women’s Arts Museum Ghana 

The artists made their own interpretation of the topic influenced by their own experiences and highlighted key interests. The works were largely individually made with very few collaborations and support from other participants. One work was collaboratively produced with all participants' input, which highlighted the need for a collective approach to investing in women.  An installation in the name of the Institute also served as a memory recall and a cell activation for all the participating artists because we have been fed by a clay pot and wooden ladles on a firewood stove either by extension or proximity, thus the artist ought to transform the energy situation to benefit vulnerable women.


The learning experience happened on several levels. The visible one was the interaction between experienced artists and younger ones and learning by observation. There was resistance by some artists to incorporating different views into their work or even acknowledging the views expressed. Albeit such discussions should linger on if there is any hope of improving one's skill. This is because the path to becoming better is the continuous quest to improve one’s work, learning from the myriad of ways available. 


One critical issue was the visibility of works on a range of scales. Given the variations in dimensions presented by other artists, poets had to reduce the intimacy of their works by making their text font size 24" or bigger. This was to enable the poems to come along with other works.


Space is always sensitive and as always, the decision-making around space is contextual, and with some awareness, one can yield to the benefit of organizing, not in the usual aesthetic sense, but in ways that formulate with the flow and history of the space. To say the least, the interaction of space, art and human attention is complex, and one would have to respond to issues situationally.  

Invest in Women,' Accelerate progress art exhibition in Accra by wAi Africa
Artworks exhibited in the virtual gallery, Women’s Arts Museum Ghana 

The production of the works had a focused edge to it. Artists tackled complex works while others explored their routine style and techniques which they have mastered. The works were completed gracefully on the same day, yet artists started formulating the works for at least five weeks prior to the final rendition on the 7th of March 2024. The working space was serene, cool, untraditional, and voluminous.


The major topics that featured were education, energy, housing, motherhood, family, building capital for business, womanhood, healthcare, the bravery of women, self-acceptance, natural health, learning, nature, geometric science among others. 


Diverse and obscure materials were used in the production of the works. For sculpture over 80 percent of the materials used were made locally. Materials like tree root fiber, clay, wood, found firewood, fabric, industrial finished glass, cardboard, straws, paper among others.


For poetry, the works were generated in text printed on flexi fabric mounted on coffee treated wood. Some of the words were text wrapped in shape and others were rendered in straight text centered and left sided. For photography a digital camera was used. The images were rendered in black and white and antique colours which gave a special effect to the works in an environment filled with colours. The paintings were made with materials like jewellery, acrylic on paper, acrylic on canvas, collage, fabric among others.


The artist whose age are from 22 to 63 years were, Hannah Baah Entsiful, Adwowa Anowa Ammah-Tagoe, Akwele Suma Glory, Dorothy Kyeraah, Victoria Abena Keta, Eba Ussher, Amy Tetteh, Christabel Dzandu, Sedinam Gbeku, Mardey Ofoe, Pallavi Singh, Barbara Essaba Butler, Mabel Amoako, Theodora Norkai Tetteh, Akua Adobea Opare-Addo, Afefa Kuwornu, Rosina Nyadey, Emma Ofosua Darko, Ama Adiepena and Nuna'a Raleigh . 


To make the works of the exhibition more accessible to a wider audience, the works were also displayed online in a virtual gallery of the Women’s Arts Museum Ghana at the following address.


Working with multiple women artists to harmonize under a theme was very special and intense in some situations, as the birth of the collective exhibition got close. Indeed, the exhibition was delivered, and we thank all the human resources that made it possible.


 Mardey Ohui Ofoe, Curator



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